Building Self Esteem
By Ray Terris
I am not conceited, I just admire great
Building self esteem is part of becoming successful. How you view yourself is very important. It will influence the
way that other people will react to you, how they treat you. As mentioned in
other pages your success depends on other people, if you have low self esteem
they will not support you. (What
What is self esteem? If you check on Wikipedia
you will find that there seems to be some confusion about what self esteem is
and how it affects people. For me the simple definition of self worth is the
most workable. However some people appear to have difficulty in seeing the
difference between self esteem and arrogance or some of the other negative human
traits. For most of us it is fairly easy to spot when someone has real self
esteem as opposed to being egotistical.
Friend or Foe?
Are you your best friend or worst enemy? How well do you
treat yourself? Take a step outside yourself for a while, no I am not being
mystical. Sit back and take a look at the kind of friends that you would want.
Now see if you would want to be your friend. Self esteem is self worth, are you
worthy of being a friend?
It is not easy to get an objective view of ourselves. Looking in
a mirror will only show a reflection of a physical image, it can not reflect the
person. There was one young lady that I knew who was very hard on herself. She
relied on a mirror to tell her who she was. What the mirror showed her was
someone who was overweight, by western standards, and some acne.
It took me a while to get her to open up and tell me how she
really thought of herself. It was definitely not nice, she thought that she was
a fat, ugly, loser. In fact she had a beautiful smile, a nice friendly
personality and was generally just a good person.
With some help from another friend of mine, who could be
considered to be overweight but had lots of self confidence, we finally
persuaded her to be nicer to herself. She had to be her own best friend for one
week. It would really upset your friends if you called them fat and ugly, so
don't do it to yourself, it's not polite.
I did not get to directly see what happened with her, I had
moved to another city. However she sent me her wedding photographs and she
looked beautiful, radiant and happy. She also mentioned in her letter that she
realized that she had been overeating for comfort and treating herself badly
because she did not feel worthy. While she was building self esteem she changed
her physical appearance. Everybody can be beautiful, just let the spirit shine
So learn to be your friend. You do not want a friend who says
you are ugly and puts you down. On the other extreme you don't want someone who
is conceited and too full of themselves.
You, yourself, as much as anybody in the
entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha
One of the most uncomfortable things for me to watch is someone
trying to become popular. It always backfires. The desire to belong, to fit in,
is very strong in humans, it is a survival mechanism. You can not force, buy or
bribe genuine popularity. Sure you can buy the gifts or spend the money but when
the money is gone....... what a sucker.
Many people have things backwards, they think that if they
become popular it will improve their self esteem. However it is building self
esteem that will improve their popularity. People tend to like others they are
comfortable with. If you are not comfortable with yourself, how can they be
comfortable with you?
Another trap, that younger people sometimes fall into, is to do
a reversal. They go out of their way to be different. There is nothing wrong
with being different, it is a good thing, providing it is really you. Trying to
be different in order to prove a point or impress people is just a different
effort to get attention.
While other peoples opinions of you are important they are not
something that you should worry about. You will often hear something like "I
don't care what other people think of me!" Well you should care and you should
care about other people. Just don't put special emphasis on other peoples
opinions of you. Your efforts should be towards building self esteem.
I am who I am. There are some things about myself that I know
need improving but I am comfortable in my own skin. I try to let people see who
I am, if they like me great, if not that is their choice, I don't hold it
against them. There are very few people that I do not get along with.
Building self esteem starts with learning to like yourself. To
become a friend, either to others or yourself, get to know them. Look at the
good points and build on them, accept the not so good points and change them
where you can. Be positive and let the friendship grow.
Remember self esteem is not arrogance or 'better than you'. It
is a comfortable acceptance of who you are and who you will become.
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